by Darryl Brent
Galaxy9 is Darryl Brent’s first published novel. The book is about three engineering students who come across a spaceship and then explore space. That’s it. His command of the English language is good, and he can write a well-paced story with well described settings and locations, but he lacks the skill at creating depth in character or plot.
Described as “Science Fiction Comedy Adventure for Young Adults” this book undershoots drastically, missing all the standard benchmarks of young adults fiction. The characters are two dimensional and often make illogical and sometimes nonsensical decisions. There is very little emotional input by the characters and there isn’t particularly much at stake for them either. This makes it hard for the reader to emotionally invest in the characters or the book.
The story jumps between chapters like a frog on steroids – each chapter does little to add to character or atmosphere, and reads more like the transcript for a children’s saturday morning show with chapters being heavily disconnected to each other and lacking an overarching plot. Brent is heavily inspired by Star Wars, and this comes through very clearly in this book and, unfortunately, he doesn’t do a great job disguising this fact. The opening chapter reads like a scene from Star Wars complete with
Han Solo Isaac flying the Millenium Falcon Midnight Shrike, and the rest of the book descends into a smuggling/mercenary/freight-delivery serialization, not unlike Star Wars: Rebels.
What Darryl Brent lacks in skill he makes up for through sheer ambition, creating a large-scale universe with many exciting characters and exotic settings. With so much material and so many ideas, Brent would have been better off writing a larger book and spending a bit more quiet time with the characters. He is currently writing a sequel called Galaxy9 Breakout. 3/10.